New Delhi: Laurels and rewards flowed for the Indian cricket team on Sunday, a day after it won the World Cup, with several state governments announcing cash awards and other incentives for the members of the victorious squad. President Pratibha Patil felicitated the team and shook hands with each player at a "high tea" on the lawns of the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai.
Patil and her husband, Devisingh Shekhawat shook hands with each Indian player, starting with skipper M.S. Dhoni.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced a special award of Rs.1 crore each for Maharashtra players Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan.
He also announced a reward for the Maharashtrian support staff in the Indian team which would match the award by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The BCCI had on Saturday announced a reward of Rs.1 crore to each member of the winning squad and Rs.50 lakh to each of the support staff.
The railway ministry announced on Sunday that members of the team will be given lifetime complimentary passes to travel by air-conditioned first class.
The passes will be available to the players along with one companion for unlimited free travel in the country, the ministry said in a press statement.
Congratulating the team after their win on Saturday, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had appealed to the central government to declare Monday a national holiday to celebrate the achievement.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda announced in Ranchi that land would be allotted to local boy Dhoni to set up a cricket academy and school here.
The Jharkhand government also said it would confer an honorary doctorate on Dhoni - who is yet to complete his graduation.
Dhoni, 29, is doing his graduation from St. Xavier's College in Ranchi. He has been unable to complete the course due to his tight schedule.
Jharkhand earlier gifted a 4,000 sq feet plot and a Rs.11 lakh car to Dhoni when India won the T20 World Cup in 2007.
The Jharkhand unit of the Congress demanded India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna be conferred on local boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni for leading India to victory in the cricket World Cup after 28 years.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa announced that his government will allot free housing sites in the city to each of the 15 members of the Indian cricket squad that won the World Cup.
The documents will be presented to the 15 team members at a special function the state government will hold at the imposing Vidhana Soudha at the earliest.
The government plans to get in touch with the team through the BCCI to organise the function in Bangalore on a date convenient to them after the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Delhi government announced cash rewards of Rs.2 crore for Dhoni and Rs.1 crore each for the four Delhi players in the World Cup winning squad - Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra and Virat Kohli.
"Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has announced reward of Rs.2 crore for captain M.S. Dhoni, and Rs.1 crore each for Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, and Virat Kohli," a statement from the government said:
Gambhir was the highest run getter in India's six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka Saturday with his 97.
The Punjab government also announced cash rewards for Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, while Gujarat said it will confer its highest sports award, "Eklavya Puruskar" on Munaf Patel and Yusuf Pathan, who hail from the state. The award comprises Rs.1 lakh, a memento and a certificate of honour.
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